I was in Sao Paulo for the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening match and needed to get to Curitiba in the Brazilian state of Parana. There were several intra-Brazilian carriers to choose from such as Azul Brazilian Airlines, GOL Airlines, and TAM airlines that fly from Sao Paulo to Curitiba.
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I used Orbitz to search for one way fares from Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport to Curitiba’s Afonso Pena International Airport (GRU-CWB) and the prices were ridiculously high. The lowest price I saw was around $120 for a one-way on GOL Airlines. I thought to myself, there’s no way a 223 mile one-way flight was going to cost $120 with three carriers serving the route.
Well, maybe it could be true since it was the World Cup after all, but I decided to investigate further by going to GOL Airlines’ own website www.voegol.com. Lo and behold, I found the same exact flight (G3 1920) for $39.22 that Orbitz was offering for a whopping $120! (talk about price gouging). The base fare was $31.22 with a $8.00 boarding fee which came out to $39.22. Since GOL Airlines partners with Delta Air Lines, I added my Gold Medallion number to the reservation so I could receive miles for my flight.
Since I didn’t want to get ripped off by a taxi driver, I took the bus/metro public transportation method to get from Sao Paulo to GRU Airport and arrived to the airport at 1am for my 6am flight. I went to the GOL Airlines kiosk to get my boarding pass and it printed out a vertical receipt like boarding pass which was pretty cool.
Boarding began at 5:20am in the small domestic terminal of GRU airport. The economy class cabin of the Boeing 737-800 (738) was in a 3-3 configuration.
I had chosen seat 3C which was the bulkhead aisle.
The flight time was only 35 minutes for the short 223 mile flight and nothing was served onboard (not even a beverage or snack for purchase).
Before I knew it, we were landing at Curitiba International Airport and it was a breeze to get out of the airport. CWB International Airport is a small calm Brazilian airport and I was glad there was no taxi cab mafia waiting in the arrivals hall. The great thing about Curitiba airport is the great Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system where I took the public bus from the airport to the city center for R$2.70 reais ~ $0.97 USD.
After my flight on GOL Airlines 1920 from GRU-CWB, I checked Delta.com and actually received 750 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM’s) and 1,250 Redeemable Skymiles which I value at a minimum of $12.50. It was great buying a $39.22 flight and receiving a rebate of $12.50 in the form of Skymiles!